Pet lovers applaud a lady who took her dog to the vet for treatment strapped on her back; Captioned ‘Owner and Patient of the Day’

Several members of the public have applauded and acclaimed a lady who walked a long distance of more than one hour with her dog strapped to her back to seek treatment for her pet at the clinic of Blantyre Society for the Protection & Care of Animals (SPCA).

Touched by this deep love of her pet, Blantyre SPCA took her picture and posted it on their Facebook page with the caption ‘Owner and Patient of the Day’, which attracted lovely comments from the public.

Blantyre SPCA explained that the injury on the lady’s dog‘s paw “was not very severe and she was able to take him home again after receiving treatment”.

Hero of the day

“Especially on days when we see terrible cases of animal cruelty and negligence, it helps to see owners like these to remember that most people care about their dogs.”

Marie da Silva, founder and director of Jacaranda School of Orphans in Limber — herself a very passionate dog lover — found no other words to describe this gesture — and simply just said: “I love this post so much.”

Seema Pathania said: “What a lovely caring lady. God bless her and her lovely dog” while Jordan Dowbush commented: “So good to see someone caring for their dog.”

Sarah Ross described the post as “heartwarming from an amazing lady and lucky dog” while Millie Kotecha-Makhecha prayed “for more wonderful animals owners like her”.

This is quite a contrast to an incident last week in which English Premiership side, West Ham’s footballer Kurt Zouma attracted outrage within the English sports community by slapping and kicking a cat.

Zouma has since apologized for the disturbing incident that was caught on camera and its video clip went viral on social media.

His club publicly condemned the footage, that was accompanied by laughter in the background, and vowed to deal with the matter.

West Ham’s Kurt Zouma

A report in the British media said the 27-year-old Zuoma chased the cat, before throwing a pair of shoes and slapping it on the head.

“West Ham unreservedly condemns the actions of the team player, Kurt Zouma, in this video that has been circulated,” the club said in a statement to the press, adding that they had “spoken with Kurt and we will deal with this internally, but we want to make it clear that we will not in any way condone cruelty to animals.”

Zuma is also quoted in the The Sun newspaper apologizing for his actions and expressing remorse, saying “there are no excuses for my behaviour, which I deeply regret. I want to assure everyone that both cats are fine and in good health.”

In 2012, former South Africa President, Jacob Zuma also received a backlash on unsavoury remarks he made about pet care that touched on sensitive race relations in that country, when he publicly said “owning a pet is part of ‘white culture’ and people should focus on family welfare instead”.

Zuma’s remarks triggered a flurry of retorts from animal lovers on Twitter and other social media, in which one commentator — probably a white person retorted: “Will I become ‘more African’ if I kick my dog, President Zuma”.

While another sneered that Zuma had lost a photo opportunity with the then US President Barack Obama, who had a pet dog named Bo, in the White House and the Obamas took pride to pose with him all the time.

South African media reported then that the backdrop to the dog debate is the legacy of Western colonialism in Africa, as well as the bitter struggle against apartheid in South Africa that culminated in the first democratic elections in 1994.

In Malawi, dogs are usually kept for security and always chained. Most low-income households never feed them — left to wander around looking for food.

Caring staff of SPCA

When such dogs keep visiting neighbouring homes where there is possibility of finding foods thrown away in the trash bins, they are chased away by stoning them.

It’s not a rare case to see limping dogs in most communities in Malawi after they were mercilessly stoned and this type of cruelty is what Blantyre SPCA and other such organisations advocate against.

Blantyre SPCA is an NGO that focuses on many different areas within animal welfare in Malawi such as responsibly rejoining animals that are either surrendered or brought in as strays.

They also vaccinate and sterilize stray dogs or those from low-income households; offers veterinary care to animals in dire need and educates the public about safe animal handling, animal welfare principles and general animal care.

They also monitor and assist canine units in security companies to ensure they are in line with the Animal Protection Act and that they are well cared of.

Some people are seen in the streets of Blantyre and other cities selling puppies, which is illegal though they do it with impunity — thus Blantyre SPCA comes to and works with the police to stop such illegal vending and lobbying for by-laws pertaining to animal welfare.

Last year, Lilongwe SPCA appealed to the public to refrain from buying dogs from the streets, saying such animals are not checked by a vet; are very dangerous and have a high likelihood of rabies, Parvo, ticks and fleas as well as unpleasant behaviour issues.

Lilongwe SPCA announced that there were working closely with the vendors and all other stakeholders to find a long term lasting solution that benefits the vendors and the animals.

They also said dogs that come to the them undergo a 30-day quarantine where they are inoculated, dewormed, seen that they are rabies and pest free.

Only those that show no behavioural issues are then put up for adoption while the poor creatures sold on the roadside have none of these services.

On the website,, the NGO had reiterated that it had a purpose-built rehoming shelter for dogs and cats, where it cares for animals that have been surrendered, rescued, or confiscated from roadside sellers by the police.

LSPCA contends that there has been a rise in the malpractice of selling young puppies and kittens — which are exposed to extreme weather conditions and suffer from severe dehydration and malnutrition.

“They are taken away from their mothers before they are even capable of opening their eyes. This in turn leads to medical and behavioural implications later on in life.”

“Buying dogs from the streets helps to perpetuate this cruel trade and needs to stop. When you buy a dog from the side of the road, you are supporting an illegal operation that thrives on poor animal welfare.

“Animals that are sold on the side of the road are housed in poor conditions with improper medical care, are often starving and thirsty, and are often very sick and behaviourally troubled as a result.

“The mothers of these puppies are continually bred under pitiful circumstances until they are of no use to the breeder, then, they are inhumanely disposed of.”

LSPCA says it had embarked on a project to stop the roadside sale of pets that focuses on creating awareness about the suffering of such animals and the risks for humans to buy these animals from the streets.

“LSPCA is working with the community police who are also working with vendors to stop the roadside animal trade. Besides, LSPCA is working with the Malawi Police Services-Criminal Investigative Department officers who are tasked with confiscation of animals sold on the streets.”

The Animal Protection Act of 1970 (66) prohibits any person to ill-treat, torture, infuriate, terrify or cause to procure or permit unnecessary suffering to any animal.

Section 3 (1) (b) of the same Animal Protection Act forbids carrying or conveying, or permitting in a manner or position as to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal.

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